Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 07:52 PM
Subject: Print pool report #4
Print pool #4
The president arrived at the home of Karen Dixon and Dr. Nan Schaffer on Tracy Place in NW Washington at 7:05 p.m.
An Obama for America campaign official said there are 40 people in attendance, each of whom paid $35,800 per ticket. That works out to $1,432,000.
"Proceeds from the event will go to Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee," the official said on background.
Supporters were seated at five tables in a cozy, garden-style room at the rear of the home. Tables had centerpieces of red and pink roses. Also in the audience was HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whom Mr. Obama called "a star" of his Cabinet. No mention while pool was there about the contraception controversy.
Mr. Obama was introduced by Laura Ricketts, the first openly gay owner of a major-league baseball team (the Chicago Cubs). She is a major fundraiser for the Obama reelection campaign.
She told the group that the event was being held "to show the president that the LGBT community stands strongly behind his reelection."
"I know the president stands with us," she said.
Mr. Obama said everyone is concerned with putting the economy back on the right footing.
"There's still a lot of folks hurting out there. The good news is that we're moving in the right direction."
He pointed to the good jobs report from last month, the housing settlement announced today. He gave the standard recitation about his desire for fair play, whether it's on Main Street or Wall Street.
"You should be judged on the merits. That's at the heart of the American dream."
"That's how you should be judged -- not by what you look like, not by how you worship, not by where you come from, not by who you love."
"The work that we've done with the LGBT community, I think, is just profoundly American."
He mentioned his administration's work to ensure hospital visitation is applied equally to same-sex couples. Also mentioned DADT.
"What's been striking over the course of these last three years is because we've rooted this work in this concept of fairness, and we haven't gone out of our way to grab credit for it, we haven't gone out of our way to call other folks names when they didn't always agree with us on stuff, we just kept plodding along, because of that, in some ways, what's been remarkable is how readily the public recognizes this is the right thing to do."
He said the perception with DADT is that it would be "huge, ugly issue."
"Because we did it methodically ... since it happened, nothing's happened."
"There hasn't been any notion of erosion in unit cohesion."
When he was in Hawaii and worked out at the Marine base, he said, at least three Marines came up to him in the gym and quietly told him "thank you" for ending DADT.
"I didn't even know whether or not they were gay or lesbian. I didn't ask. that wasn't the point."
"We're going to have more work to do on this issue. There's still areas where fairness is not the rule. We're going to have to keep on pushing." He did not discuss gay marriage while pool was present.
Pool was ushered out after 14 minutes, while the president prepared to do a Q&A.
Holding in vans on the street.